This Week In The Business: VR's Virtual Diversity

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: VR's Virtual Diversity

QUOTE | “Part of my job involves funding content and my heart sinks when someone brings me something that’s a shooter, because a shooter is almost the lowest common denominator at this point.” - Oculus’ Callum Underwood says it’s time for VR devs to move on and consider new styles of gameplay.


QUOTE | “I want to see some more VR titles where it’s a proper game, an uncompromised experience where we haven’t tried to rework it in ways that don’t make sense for the genre.” - Paw Print Games lead game designer Steven Knapman explains the idea behind the studio’s upcoming 2D VR beat-’em-up Bloody Zombies.

QUOTE | “One studio picking one game and putting all of your money into that? You might as well go to a casino and put everything on number 27 at the roulette table.” - Force Field VR and Guerilla Games co-founder Martin de Ronde advises VR developers hedge their bets.

STAT | 6.7 million - Superdata’s projected sales of Gear VR units for 2017, driven in large part by the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8. IHS Markit expects a more modest 4.1 million units sold.

STAT | 51% - The percentage of Americans who have heard of at least one VR or AR device, according to a Nielsen poll. That’s actually up significantly from the 28% who were aware of the headsets when polled last year.

QUOTE | “The approach we’re taking with Tequila Works is a little bit like the Nintendo way. So we try to create our own path.” - Tequila Works CEO Raul Rubio arrives at innovation by way of imitation.

STAT | $100 - The trading price of EA stock after it announced record full-year revenues of $4.85 billion. The publisher’s stock price had never hit triple digits before.


QUOTE | “It more than likely leaves money on the table, as many players would gladly pay, especially for larger updates. That said, we wouldn’t have it any other way.” - Re-Logic VP Whitney Spinks explains why the Terraria developer doesn’t charge for updates.

QUOTE | “Whilst there can be no guarantees that the negotiations will be concluded successfully, they are being explored since this is in the best interests of our shareholders, the studio and the industry as a whole.” - Square Enix puts a noble face on its decision to sell Hitman developer IO Interactive.


STAT | $20 million - The minimum franchise fee Blizzard is charging for teams in the upcoming Overwatch League, according to an ESPN report citing unnamed sources. Blizzard called the report misinformation spread for negotiating leverage.

STAT | 1 - Mentions of the 3DS Nintendo made in announcing its E3 plans. The system could be absent from the company’s show-opening Spotlight video and the show floor, with Nintendo only confirming that 3DS titles would appear during the Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3 program, a live-streamed series of deep dives into specific titles that runs throughout the show.


Global Beet

I still hold firm to my initial belief that VR is the most hyped and well funded phase in gaming history. The only way VR won’t be an awkward cumbersome experience is if we develop the type of tech seen in Sword Art Online. Until we reach that level I just can’t imagine VR as anything more than a gimick and an extremely niche product.